I’m currently training for my first 10k, the Star Wars 10k, in April. I started to work towards this goal all the way back in September when I first registered. I figured I would get the mileage up and work on speed, a term I use loosely, given I’m super slow. In two months, I had worked up to a five mile run. That five mile run happened on December 1, which was after two gall bladder attacks and before gall bladder removal. Despite being told by the ER doctor that I could maintain “normal” exercise, my body clearly was not up for it as my pace was ugly that morning and I did a ton of walk breaks. The surgeon told me to stop running until after I recovered from surgery. Sadly, I had to agree he was right. I was at a 15:25 pace on hills in my neighborhood.
On January 7, I was finally cleared to exercise and I started to work back with a 2 mile run that felt amazing. Despite a bit of crud in January that held me back and the recent sinus infection, I was back to the five mile mark yesterday. Finally! We are less than two months away from race day. I’ve added in running through another neighborhood near mine who have hills that are way worse than the three in my neighborhood, which is good since I won’t be able to train for humidity that I’ll face at Disney. Yesterday, the good news was my pace was 14:17! Over a minute better on a much bigger elevation change, including one hill I did not conquer, but I will. The difference in my splits amazes me. The right side is yesterday.
And most importantly, I learned a valuable lesson about the time I choose to run. I was off work yesterday, so I did a late morning, just before lunch run. I had eaten breakfast (bowl of cereal,) about 2.5 hours before I ran. Towards the end of my run, I started feeling very sluggish and off, but I convinced myself that it was the five mile getting into my head. I finished up, did my cool down walk and ate a banana after drinking water,but I felt very weak, and I’m not talking normal exhaustion. I get what most refer to as hangry, and occasionally have bouts with feeling like I have low blood sugar. Best I can guess after research, eating, and resting for an extended amount of time is that my blood sugar just got too low after taking over an hour to complete my run. It freaked me out, but it’s a lesson learned to be properly fueled and have something with me on my long runs. I’m not going to give up on my goals, but it’s funny in a way that this happened when I had the five mile thoughts from December in my head. Of course my next long run, this will be in my head.
Training lesson learned. What else have you learned while running long distances?